Sophos antivirus for mac review 2013

The antivirus program for Mac includes a password manager and banking tools to shield your important information from identity thieves, keyloggers and other internet tracking programs. The biggest drawback is Norton costs significantly more than other programs and charges a fee for each device you want to protect. Intego Mac Internet Security does an excellent job detecting and protecting against Mac threats including viruses, Trojans and ransomware.

Along with ContentBarrier, the program that protects against malware, Intego Mac Internet Security also comes with NetBarrier, a personal firewall that secures your computer against anyone trying to steal your internet which slows down your speeds.

We know many Mac users look at Sophos Home as a cost-effective solution since its basic program is free. It only detected 78 percent of the threats we unleashed during testing, and a few threats we had to manually remove after following the online instructions from Sophos. But these instructions included disabling the automatic virus protection, which triggered Sophos to reboot.

Ultimately, we gave up, uninstalled Sophos and installed another program to find and scrub our Mac clean of threats. Sophos did a good job of identifying and blocking Windows malware on our Mac machines.

The short answer is, yes, you do need antivirus software for your Mac. While Macs are less susceptible to viruses thank Windows computers, Macs are still at risk. We conduct our own in-house tests using of the nastiest Mac malware to find the antivirus programs that protect Macs best. These threats were tucked inside a zipped file that, when opened, downloaded the files and let them loose.

Tests for home users

We looked at which point each virus scanner picked up the threats, including Trojans and ransomware, and if the program automatically removed them or placed them in a quarantine folder for us to take care of later. Most of the Mac antivirus programs caught the threats as the files opened and deleted them immediately.


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Some programs moved each threat into the quarantine folder while others quarantined just those threats that were created to look like legitimate programs. This gave us a good idea of how well the programs protect Mac computers. During virus scans we perform common tasks, such as sending email, browsing the web, watching movies and playing online games and look for any lag, buffering or slowdown that may be caused by the antivirus software.

While testing we look for how easy the program is to download, install, set up and use. Because the most important function of antivirus for Mac is protecting against malware, Top Ten Reviews invests considerable time testing each program using live threats, so we can tell you exactly how the program works and how well it detects and blocks malware. After protection, the biggest differences among Mac antivirus solutions are security features. Detection features are where and what the antivirus program scans on your computer.

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All of the leading programs scan USB drives and incoming email. Some Mac antivirus software includes a system vulnerability scan that looks for weak points in your computer, typically out-of-date software, and prompts you to install the latest version to strengthen those points. Programs such as Bitdefender present you with a legitimate link where you can download newer software rather than chance downloading a malicious link.

Extra security tools include parental controls that let you set up time limits or block family members from accessing dangerous websites.

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Click "Clean Up Threat" to completely remove the spying software, malware or virus from your MacBook. Click "Fix this issue" if Bitdefender discovers any threats on your MacBook to completely remove the spy software, malware or virus from your computer. Jason Spidle is a technology enthusiast and writer.

His writing on computers, smartphones, Web design, Internet applications, sports and music has been published at a variety of websites including Salon, JunkMedia, Killed in Cars and The Columbia Free Times. Spidle maintains a number of blogs featuring poetry, short stories and other fiction. Skip to main content. Manual Scanning 1. Click "Finder" and select "Applications" from the sidebar.

Sophos 1. Click the lock icon if a threat is found and then enter your Mac password. Bitdefender 1. You can protect up to three devices with a free plan and manage all of them through a browser interface. The last notable feature for free users is parental control. As generous as the free offering is, we recommend a Premium upgrade. Naturally, the level of protection increases as new malware floods the internet every day.

You also get ransomware protection, a banking mode, privacy protection and support. Sophos has a simple, lightweight desktop application. There are two buttons in the main window, one for running a scan and another for managing your security. Outside of that, interactions with Sophos take place in your browser.

There are no scan settings in the application or browser interface. Sophos can only perform a full system scan, at least, from what we read. When we ran a scan, it only went through our C drive on Windows. It performed well, though.


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Each of the five scans we ran completed in a few minutes with CPU utilization raising to no more than 5 percent most of the time, but the last part of a scan, when Sophos checks for malware remnants, saw a 35 percent increase in CPU utilization. While we appreciate the approach to simplicity, the UI provides no clear option for targeted scans. Even with a full sweep of the system, targeted scans are needed when downloading suspicious files read our best VPN for torrenting if you take part in that action frequently.

You can manage your exceptions, whether it be for scanning purposes or browser protection, configure privacy settings and set your web filters if you have horny teenagers roaming around. You can also add new devices to your plan and manage them from the interface.

Sophos will show you a full history of what it has been doing on your machines, as well as notifications for detected malware. We like the cloud-based approach Sophos takes to antivirus software. It cleans up an additional window on your desktop and allows you to control your protection from any of your devices. Navigating through the browser UI is simple, as well, with five tabs and toggle switches for your settings.

From a user-friendliness standpoint, the system is sound. There is a severe lack of settings and information about how the system runs, though. Sophos gives no indication that different scan options are available, hiding its power for the sake of user-friendliness.

Tests for home users

Consequently, it weakens its user-friendliness as a competent PC user must stumble around for features that are clearly shown in other antiviruses. It was percent effective against 50 Mac samples and 98 percent effective against Windows samples. AV-Test has more recent results , testing the Mac variant once again in December It was percent effective against Mac exploits compared to the At that time, it scored a perfect 18 points.

It only blocked two of the six tests, failing drive-by download, compressed malware, a phishing page and download of a potentially unwanted application. All downloads were completed, then Sophos removed the files, except in the case of compressed malware.

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Only the extracted file was removed for it, not the compressed package. Note that the file was simply removed. There was a notification, but no question asking whether you wanted to quarantine the file. In the event of a false positive, Sophos will delete your data without asking if you want it to first. We wanted to dive deeper on phishing protection, so we tested 10 suspected phishing URLs submitted to PhishTank the day of writing.

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